Californian rabbits: All facts and info

Last Updated on March 21, 2024 by Admin

Californian rabbits, also known as California white, are popular in the United States. Although they’re often bred for their meat and fur, their striking appearance and gentle nature make them good show animals and household pets. This article discusses the Californian rabbit’s history, appearance, temperament, and health/lifespan. It also looks at the breed’s reproduction/ life cycle, diet, care, and housing among other related topics.

Californian rabbit



The breed was developed by a rabbit breeder named George S. West in California, the United States. This was back in the 1920s when they were bred for meat and fur production. Californian rabbits were produced by crossbreeding the standard chinchilla and the Himalayan white rabbit. To increase the breed size, the offspring was then again crossbred with New Zealand whites. The Californian rabbits took more than a decade to gain their popularity and by 1939, the breed was officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.


Size and physique

Californian rabbits have compact rounded bodies, wide hindquarters, full shoulders, and big erect ears. On average, adults weigh between 8 to 10 pounds, with does weighing slightly heavier than bucks. The maximum weight according to the American Rabbit Association standards is 10 5 pounds while the British Rabbit Council is a minimum weight of 7.5 pounds and a maximum of 9.5 pounds.


Fur and color

Californians have soft, short, and thick flyback fur (hair that returns to its original position even when brushed in the opposite direction). They have a white coat with black or dark brown marks around their nose, ears, feet, and tail. Lastly, their eye color is either pink or red.



Californian rabbits are a gentle and friendly breed that make good pets. In other words, they enjoy human interaction and are easy to bond with provided they’re properly taken care of. Regarding intelligence, the breed is easy to teach basic commands and also learn good litter box habits.


Lifespan/ Health

Californian rabbits have an average expectancy of 5 to 10 years. However, this entails a proper diet as we shall discuss shortly, mental stimulation, and at least annual vet checkups if not regular, for longevity. Some common health issues affecting Californian rabbits are gastrointestinal problems, flystrike, arthritis, and sore hocks.


Reproduction and Life Cycle

Californian rabbits have a gestation period of  28 to 31 days and can give birth to a maximum of 12 kits. After birth, doe’s can get pregnant again within a few days.



In terms of diet, the Californian rabbit needs a nutritious diet that consists of 85% hay, and 10% vegetables. The remaining 5% should comprise fruits and pellets sparingly. Besides a balanced diet, it’s equally important to ensure that your rabbit has 24/7 access to fresh drinking water to keep them hydrated.



Californian rabbits’ general care involves grooming them and ensuring that they’re mentally and physically stimulated. When maintaining their dense coats, brushing them once a week is recommended. This helps to remove loose fur as a result keeping it neat. Their nails will also need clipping every 6 to 8 weeks to prevent potential injuries. Also, ensure that your rabbit is both mentally and physically stimulated. This entails ensuring you regularly interact with your rabbits or providing them with another rabbit companion. In addition, play toys such as digging boxes, tunnels, or chew toys will keep them preoccupied. Lastly, ensure that their play area is at least 32 square feet which leads us to their living space in the next point below.



Californian rabbits need a spacious living area whether they’re housed indoors or outdoors. An ideal hutch or cage should measure at least 6 ft long, 2 ft wide, and 3 ft. High, nonetheless, the larger the space the better. Their enclosure should be made from rabbit-proof sturdy material to prevent them from escaping or going to restricted areas of the house.

We recommend going for one with a solid base for the enclosure flooring. If you have an all-wired one, provide them with a solid area they can use to rest in that won’t hurt their feet. Lastly, ensure that there’s always a water and feeding bowl in your rabbit’s cage or hutch.

Do Californian bunnies make good pets?

Yes, Californian rabbits make good pets considering that they are generally docile and good-natured. As a result, they can easily blend well with small or large households, considering they’re easier to handle. Nevertheless,  always supervise your kid’s interaction with them to prevent any injuries from both parties due to improper handling. Californian rabbits will also get along with other household pets provided they’re properly and gradually introduced.


What’s the average cost of Californian rabbits?

The average cost of Californian rabbits ranges between $50 to $100 mainly due to several factors such as the breeds, age, health, pedigree, and location. In addition, some extra costs include housing which is between $70 to $200. Their monthly food expenditure is roughly between $50 to $80 while grooming supplies, bedding, and toys cost around $200 collectively.

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